Monday, July 18, 2016
Is The Fight Against The Taliban Going Better Than Expected?
Washington Post: The fight against the Taliban is going better than expected
KABUL — U.S. and Afghan forces are accelerating plans to decapitate the Taliban insurgency, expanding a new offensive strategy that appears to be stumping the group’s efforts to make dramatic gains on the battlefield.
After 15 years of war and several failed attempts to reach a negotiated peace deal, the dynamics of the conflict changed in the spring, when President Obama for the first time ordered a U.S. airstrike to kill the Taliban leader in Pakistan. Over the past four months, Afghan special forces have also killed more than three dozen senior and mid-level Taliban commanders in targeted airstrikes or raids, according to an Afghan security document obtained by The Washington Post.
The operations are part of a broader effort by Afghan forces, backed by increasing U.S airstrikes, to treat the Taliban more as a foreign enemy than as a domestic insurgent group worthy of some military restraint, according to Afghan officials and analysts. As a result, they say, there are signs the Taliban is under strain this summer while Afghan security forces, at least the elite ones, are finally becoming a battle-ready force.
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WNU Editor: I have heard optimistic assessments on the war against the Taliban for years .... this is just one more report. Bottom line .... the Taliban now control more territory than anytime since 2001 ... and this trend is going to continue.